Gaming / Investing / Sports / Venture capital

Comcast Spectacor invests in N3rd Street Gamers

The partnership will let N3rd Street deploy a “national framework for in-person esports competition and player development.” Comcast Spectacor already owns the Philadelphia Fusion.

The Philadelphia Fusion, Philly's official Overwatch team. (Courtesy photo)
Newsflash: esports are real.

The latest piece of validating evidence around professional gaming comes by way of a recent investment by Philadelphia Fusion owner Comcast Spectacor in N3rd Street Gamers, the Northern Liberties-based startup focused on developing top esports competitors.

Comcast Spectactor declined to disclosed how much money it invested, but a spokesperson told the funding would allow the company to expanding its network of gaming events to a national scope.

“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with the Comcast Spectacor team,” said N3rd Street cofounder John Fazio. “Their expertise provides a unique and powerful opportunity to expand NSG’s offerings to gamers and aspiring esports athletes across the country. All of the hard work our team has put in feels incredibly validated by Comcast Spectacor’s support and investment.”

N3rd Street Gamers raised an undisclosed amount of capital last fall from VC firm SeventySix Capital. The target with that initial capital infusion was to expand the company’s gaming center, LocalHost, to two more markets over the next 18 months.

Here’s investor Wayne Kimmel, managing partner of SeventySix Capital, announcing the Comcast Spectacor investment from New York’s Hashtag Sports conference:

(In case you weren’t counting, Kimmel is so sure this investment is “big,” that he said it twelve times.)

As part of the investment, both companies will “expand opportunities for aspiring esports athletes through a soon-to-be announced network of events aimed at developing and showcasing amateur talent on a nationwide scale,” according to a joint statement released Wednesday.

N3rd Street Gamers began organizing gaming events in 2014 (like this heavily watched Counter-Strike tournament in 2015, before the rise to mainstream status of videogame streaming service Twitch), but Fazio said the company’s current mission started to take place in 2009 among friends at web development firm Jarvus.

“John [Fazio] and his team have formulated a strong growth strategy, and we anticipate this investment will fuel not only our advancement, but the continued development of esports as a whole,” said Comcast Spectacor CEO Dave Scott.

For more on how esports is real, and how recent changes in legislation will affect he future of sports and tech, here’s our recap of the Future of Sports Tech and Sports Betting Conference, held Tuesday at the Prince Theater.


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